Ten pupils and four staff from Gairloch High School flew out from Edinburgh this week to visit friends and learning partners in Mlozi School in Malawi.
The partnership began several years ago when chemistry teacher Dr Clare Caley became a global teacher — under a scheme run by the World Studies Trust — and visited Mlozi. Previously, successful staff exchanges have taken place with support from Link Community Development and the British Council.
The group (pictured) have been raising funds for over a year and many sponsored events have taken place. Car washes, cakes sales and sponsored walks up Ben Nevis raised lots. Busking with pipes in Inverness, a film quiz in Aultbea and selling ice cream on the beach at Mellon Udrigle were other innovative ways of raising funds.
While in Malawi the pupils will carry out projects involving physics experiments, jewellery making, Scottish dance and music. The pupils have written a song especially for the trip. Pupils have also been learning some of the local language and will find out about the influence of David Livingstone on Malawi while there.
The pupils have spent a lot of time preparing for this trip and on their return to Scotland will share their experiences with the rest of the school and its community including the local primary schools.
Head teacher John Port (back left) who is accompanying the pupils said: “The pupils have done a fabulous job of raising the necessary funds. When previous funding sources stopped we decided that the project must continue. So we set ourselves the challenge of raising the money and now we are ready to go!
“We are grateful to everyone in the community including the local charity shop and the Gairloch High School Parent Council who have supported the venture. We have also received support from friends and family across the country as well as a donation from Dingwall Rotary. All of this has been much appreciated.”
The group will return to Scotland on 19th October but the partnership will continue — and fundraising goes on to assist pupils and staff from Mlozi to visit Gairloch.